Certificates I-II provide basic vocational skills and knowledge, while Certificates III-IV replace the previous system of trade certificates and provide training in more advanced skills and knowledge. A Certificate IV is generally accepted by universities to be the equivalent of six to twelve months of a Bachelor's degree, and credit towards studies may be granted accordingly.
These courses are usually delivered by TAFE colleges, community education centres and registered private training providers.
Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Associate degree
Courses at Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Associate degree level take between two to three years to complete, and are generally considered to be equivalent to one to two years of study at degree level. Diploma and Advanced Diploma are titles given more practical courses, while Associate degree is given to more academic courses.
These courses are usually delivered by universities, TAFE colleges, community education centres and private RTO's (Registered Training Organisations).
Bachelor degree and honours
The Bachelor degree is the standard university qualification and is recognised worldwide. Most courses take three to four years to complete.
Honours may be awarded atop a Bachelor degree after an additional year of study for three-year degrees or, in the case of four-year degrees, for performance at credit or distinction average level. An Honours degree is denoted by "Hons" in parentheses following the degree abbreviation, for example BA (Hons). Honours degrees requiring an additional year of study generally involve a research project and require the completion of a thesis during the optional fourth year of study.
These courses are almost exclusively delivered by universities.
Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma
These qualifications are much like Certificates and Diplomas but must be completed by someone with a Bachelor degree or higher. Certificates typically take 6 months to complete, while Diplomas take 12 months.
Vocational certificates and diplomas tend to be more practically-oriented courses than their academic counterparts.
These courses are usually delivered by universities and private providers.